A review incorporates feedback from employees, their managers, and potentially their peers and direct reports to provide a holistic understanding of performance.
These discussions can help:
- Increase one's self-awareness via learning how others see your performance
- Clarify expectations
- Align on goals
A Typical Review Workflow
A Performance Review is typically between an employee and their manager. Most often, the employee writes a self-assessment, and their manager also assesses the employee on their performance. In some performance reviews, there's also an upwards feedback component, where employees assess their manager.
Performance Review Workflow
Your company may also have a component of upwards feedback, in that case, the employee will also review their manager. This upwards review will get sent anonymously to their manager's manager.
Remember that as a manager, you'll still go through the employee steps if you're participating in the performance review cycle!
A 360 Review is more robust than a Performance Review and participants (the employee receiving feedback) can get feedback from four directions:
- Employees write self-assessments
- Peers write reviews for coworkers
- Direct reports review their managers
- Managers review their direct reports
360 Review Workflow
Manager Tip: Before you write your manager review of your employee,
Review Preparation for Employees
Before setting pen to paper and writing your self-assessment, do some self-reflection on your impact and your learnings since the last review cycle.
Some suggested questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of impact have I made?
- Try to tie your impact to metrics that your team/department/company cares about
- This could also be your impact on colleagues (ex: mentorship, cultural initiatives)
- What are some areas that I want to keep developing?
- What have I learned since the last review cycle?
- What professional development goals do I have?
- What resources do I need to be successful in my role?
- Where can I take on more responsibility, and how does that add value to my team/my department/my company?
Lastly, think about how you're going to ask for feedback. We all have blind spots, and a review conversation is a time where you can uncover gaps between your perception of your performance and impact, and other's perceptions.
Review Preparation for Managers
Before writing your manager review, the first thing to do is to make sure that you're able to articulate the impact this employee has made since the last review cycle.
- Which key goals were achieved, or not?
- How did the employee go about their work, and how did they model your company's values?
By answering these questions, you will be able to see if there are any gaps between what you thought were priorities, and what your employee thought were priorities and determine if your employee went about achieving those outcomes in accordance with company values.
Next, do some deeper reflection. Some suggested questions to ask yourself:
- What are this employee's key strengths? Are those strengths being utilized?
- Does this employee understand my expectations?
- What do I know about this employee's interests and vision for their growth?
- Is there anything that "I wish..." this employee would do? What's preventing me from giving him/her my feedback?
- What can this employee keep doing or start doing to continue to make a bigger impact in the future?
Now, read through your employee's assessment and any feedback they may have gotten from their peers or direct reports.
How to Write an Effective Assessment
Take the following into consideration when writing an assessment for yourself or for someone else.
- A realistic evaluation of where you are/where your colleague is now will serve as a good foundation for growth
- Honesty about performance will enable you and your manager to talk about actionable feedback and develop next steps
- Be respectful when giving constructive feedback to others, remember, the intention is to help your colleague grow!
For a self-assessment:
- Think through specific goals you accomplished and how you demonstrated professional growth. What projects or accomplishments are you most proud of? What do you wish had gone differently? Remember, specific examples are the best way for you to remind your manager of the value you've added.
For assessing others:
- What have you observed about this person? Think through specific projects that you worked on together. What did your colleague do to make a big impact? What could your colleague do differently next time to make an even bigger impact?
- Remember to share observations versus judgments!
Give yourself enough time to edit your assessment. Write a draft and come back to refine it!
How to Select Appropriate Peer Reviewers (360 Only)
A peer reviewer...
- Is not your direct manager
- Is not your direct report
- Can be in a different department
- Does not have to be a “peer” in title
Choose a peer that is:
- Familiar with your work
- Capable of evaluating your discipline (if you're in sales, you probably wouldn't ask someone in IT to be a peer reviewer)
- Someone you think will be honest and insightful
- Remember, the goal of a peer review is not to receive the highest possible scores, but to solicit actionable and meaningful feedback to help you grow
Make sure you coordinate with your manager when selecting your peers! Your manager will have the ability to modify your list of peer reviewers before approving.
Delivering a Review for Managers
The written assessment should be a framework for your conversation. When preparing for the in-person conversation, be sure to:
- Take time to review all the feedback and think through your talking points before discussing the final assessment with your direct reports
- Share specific developmental points and success metrics; remember - it's just as important to help your direct report understand what they should keep doing
- Be mindful of how non-verbal cues like body language and your mood can affect the conversation. If you have a remote workforce, it's highly recommended to use video conferencing technology to have a "live" experience.
- Submit the assessment to them through the tool after you have gone over the results with each of your team members in-person
- We DO NOT recommend submitting the assessment through the tool until you have reviewed the results one-on-one with your direct report
- Keep the conversation going, have your employee jot down action items and other follow-ups to revisit in the coming weeks
Finally, make sure you leave the conversation knowing that you're both on the same page, or have a way to get there together.